The Sadies: Darker Circles
Very occasionally I luck out and get to do cool blogger/”journalist” things. Last Monday was one of those occasions where, thanks to Outside Music, I got on to the “guest list” for a private live preview of The Sadies forthcoming album Darker Circles. And the only thing better than a free Sadies show, is a free Sadies show with free beer! Thanks for the brews, guys!
The Sadies played a 30 minute mini-set featuring five new songs (the first five tracks from the album, I believe), followed by the crowd-pleaser, “Tiger Tiger,” originally from their 2002 album Stories Often Told. Here’s the problem with The Sadies, and believe me, most bands wish that they had this problem: they are so good live that their albums are slightly underwhelming.
That’s not to say that Darker Circles isn’t a good album. Its a very good album, a Top 5 for me so far this year. Its a very different album from their 2007 release New Seasons, although both were produced by Jayhawks member Gary Louris. Darker Circles is, well, much darker than New Seasons, with lyrics like, “it won’t be long ’til all your hopes and dreams are dead and gone,” (“Another Year Again”), and “I turn to oblivion night after night,” (“Tell Her What I Said”). The songs have themes of isolation, regret, remorse, and ponderances of “what could have been.” There is even a country-rock killin’ song (not quite a murder ballad). The entire album has a very psychedelic feel to it, like a 2010 version of The Byrds. Especially my favorite track “Postcards,” which sounds like it could be straight out of Roger McGuin’s 1960s catalog.
This is not an album that will cheer you up on a bad day, but it is a killer country-rock psychedelic folk bluegrass record (its damn impossible to categorize the Sadies). As my friend Whiskey Devil said, “Dark Sadies might just be the best Sadies.”
And for the love of God, go out and see this band when they come to your town! I don’t want to hear any of this “I have to work early tomorrow,” or “It’s raining” or “The venue is too far away” whiny crap. The Sadies are EASILY my favorite live Canadian act. I’ll even help by typing out their tour schedule for you.
May 21 – Call the Office – London, ON
May 22 – Lee’s Palace – Toronto, ON
May 25 – Pyramid Cabaret – Winnipeg, MB
May 26 – Louis’ Pub – Saskatoon, SK
May 27 – Starlight Room – Edmonton, AB
May 29 – Dicken’s Pub – Calgary, AB
May 30 – The Canmore Hotel – Canmore, AB
May 31 – The Canmore Hotel – Canmore, AB
June 1 – The Hume Hood – Nelson, BC
June 4 – The Biltmore – Vancouver, BC
June 5 – The High Dive – Seattle, WA
June 6 – Wild Buffalo – Bellingham, WA
June 7 – Doug Fir – Portland, OR
June 9 – Great American Hall – San Francisco, CA
June 10 – Echo – Los Angeles, CA
June 11 – The Casbah – San Diego
June 12 – Pappy and Harriet’s – Joshua Tree, CA
June 13 – Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
June 15 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
June 25 – Cedars Lounge – Youngstown, OH
June 26 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
I’m serious people! Go see The Sadies live!!!
About a year ago there was a rumor blurb in NOW Magazine speculating that The Sadies and Neil Young were recording a tribute to The Band. I don’t know any details, but I have heard that The Sadies are recording a tribute to The Band with a “Canadian superstar.” Who might that be? Hmmm?!?!?! I get excited just thinking about it.